The anti-Sarah Palin Smear Machine has been going full throttle, and it is hard to keep up with them at times. You would almost think that the Democratic party hates women or something. This is the worst treatment any major candidate has EVER received.
Barack Obama and Joe Biden have said that that are taking the high road and avoiding personal attacks, but the DailyKos is full of Obama supporters, and most of the attack sites are Obama supporters, so if Obama is trying to run a clean campaign, his most rabid followers are not listening.
Here is a great link to a blogger who has started keeping a list of rumors, plus links to the truth:
This guy has vastly increased his web traffic since he started this activity, so sometimes the site loads slowly. He is also finding that keeping up with the anti-Palin attack machine is a full-time job.
Here are some of the more interesting false stories that have been circulating:1. There is a list of books that Sarah Palin allegedly wanted to have banned from the Wasilla Public Library. The list is actually a generic list of books that some people at some times have wanted to ban from public or school libraries. In fact, some of the books on the list (most notably the Harry Potter series) were not even written at the time she supposedly wanted them banned.
2. No, she never supported Pat Buchanan for president in 2000. She supported Steve Forbes. Also, she was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party. The New York Times reported, and then retracted, this story.
3. No, she did not cut funding for a home for runaway children and teen mothers. She increased it by 354% instead of the 454% that was originally in that year’s budget.
4. No, Piper and Willow were not named after witches on TV. (Willow was the name of a character on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, and Piper was a witch on “Charmed.”) The children were both born before the TV shows appeared.
5. No, she is not a “Global warming denier.” (BTW, would Alaskans consider global warming to be a bad thing?) As Governor of Alaska, she assembled panels of experts to give her expert advice about climate change.
I have to say, the treatment of Sarah Palin reminds me of some “witch-hunting” I have seen in some conservative theological circles. The attacks got particularly nasty because of several factors:
1. The participants were absolutely certain that they were in the right, and that their target was evil.
2. The participants ignore basic rules of evidence. For example, anonymous accusations are given credence, “evidence” is not examined (i.e. for photoshopping), and witnesses are not cross-examined.
3. Even when the original allegation is proved false, the assumption of evil is so strong that the accusation is just changed to suit the new facts. (For example, once it was proved beyond all doubt that the “Sarah Palin just faked her pregnancy to cover up for Bristol” story was false, suddenly she was accused of being a bad mother being she took a flight home to Alaska after her water broke.)
4. The participants did not understand that the Ninth Commandment (“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”) not only means you can’t lie outright, it also means you need to check your facts before you spread rumors.